A LIFELONG LOVE OF FOOD and two years spent working at a vacation resort in Suffolk, United Kingdom, led Christo Pretorius to a culinary career. Now the small boy who grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is the award-winning executive chef of all restaurants and banquets and events at The Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa in Cape Town.
While following in the footsteps of his mentor, Henrico Grobbelaar, under whom he worked as executive sous chef at The Twelve Apostles, Pretorius also made his own mark at the hotel with inventive new menus focused on international and local cuisine. He also makes a mark on the community, recognized for his efforts on sustainable seafood practices, participating in events centered around youth development and more. He’s received a number of accolades.
“My goal as a chef is to create lasting memories. Engaging all senses is what creates truly special memories that diners will cherish forever,” said Pretorius. From the sounds of it, mission accomplished.
WHICH FOOD IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? AND ON THE OPPOSITE END OF THE SPECTRUM, WHAT IS ONE INGREDIENT OR FOOD YOU HATE TO USE? Guilty pleasure is a tin of condensed milk (I’m not entirely sure what the U.S. equivalent is); for some reason, I cannot resist it. My mother used to make me eat gem squash as a child, like all moms do, stuffed with corn and gratinated with cheese. I cannot cook with it at all now.
WHAT DISHES WOULD YOU SERVE AT A PRIVATE DINNER PARTY? That depends who my guests are! My wife, something Asian; my friends, something on a braai/barbecue grill that I caught myself; and for a VIP, I’d serve one of my signature Azure dishes, like the grilled baby squid with barley risotto, creamed artichoke, barley puffs, soy truffle purée, soy pickled shiitake mushrooms and green onion oil.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEAL YOU EVER PREPARED ON YOUR OWN? One of the first really cool items we learned to make at chef school was marshmallows. I was so intrigued by the way you can whip up egg whites and create something so magical. Early on in my career, my menu was filled with weird and wonderful flavored marshmallows. Looking back, I definitely overdid them.
IF YOU COULD DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE IN ONE DISH, WHICH DISH WOULD IT BE AND WHY? Springbok loin with pickled apple, red cabbage, cranberry gel, celeriac purée and roast springbok jus. I have always been proudly South African. We, as South African chefs, are incredibly lucky with the quality of produce we get here. If you have traveled elsewhere, you realize how lucky we are to be able to afford the quality, abundance and variety of meats and vegetables available to us in South Africa. We need to respect and celebrate it in our profession as much as we can.
WHICH CULINARY TREND WOULD YOU LIKE TO DISAPPEAR? Slate plates! If you’ve ever put your knife into a steak and cut into a slate plate, you’ll know what I mean. We shouldn’t compromise the dining experience by wanting something to look sexy. It should feel and eat well, too. Operating equipment evolved so much in the past decade, but it should enhance the experience, not the other way around.
As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through New Jersey’s beach towns with us.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
While travel looks a bit different this year, TripAdvisor still named the top beaches in the world in anticipation of 2020 spring and summer travel. As people take to their cars to visit U. S. locales this summer, what is the top beach in the United States? According to the travel platform, Siesta Beach, located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, in Sarasota County. On an international scale, Siesta Beach ranked No. 11.
Travelers arriving at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania will find themselves walking along a trail of pink spots on the floor — dubbed “cold pink” by the country as it matches the distinct color of the country’s national šaltibarščiai soup. The trail ends at a 10-foot replica of the famed dish.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Phase 2 of The Bahamas’ Tourism Readiness and Recovery Plan begins today, July 1, and will allow for the resumption of international travel to The Bahamas, with the exception of travelers from China, Iran, Italy and France.